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By Jean Marbella and Jean Marbella,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | May 11, 2001
"Magisterial," "riveting," "groundbreaking" - critics have lavished Diane McWhorter's "Carry Me Home" with praise for her chronicle of the 1963 Birmingham church bombing case, which returned to the spotlight this month when an aging Klansman was convicted of murdering the four black girls killed in the blast. But closer to home - at home, in fact - the reviews are less laudatory: "I took it with not just a grain of sand but a whole barrel of it." "I'd say the book contained a significant amount of fiction."
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NEWS
May 7, 2001
JUSTICE DELAYED, in this case, was not justice denied. Had Thomas Blanton Jr. gone to trial 37 years ago for the horrible bomb attack that killed four girls at Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church, the circumstances in 1960s Alabama would have favored him. Prosecutors certainly wouldn't have had incriminating FBI tape recordings to use against Blanton because the agency's director, J. Edgar Hoover, had blocked access to them. And the racial dynamics could have made a fair trial and outcome impossible, as it did many times in the South.
TOPIC
By Jean Marbella | May 6, 2001
IT WAS A SPARKLING SPRING morning, a day that begged to be spent anywhere but in a dark, wood-paneled courtroom where some particularly ugly history was being dredged up. Even Circuit Judge James Garrett didn't want to be there - or rather, he didn't want us to be there. Outsiders - Yankees probably - had descended on Birmingham, Ala., to watch an old Klansman stand trial for the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church almost 38 years ago, killing four black girls dressed in their Sunday best and tidying up before services.
NEWS
By Jean Marbella and Jean Marbella,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | April 25, 2001
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - One by one, they walked or were wheeled to the witness stand, old, white-haired, stiff-jointed, hard of hearing and wavering of voice - their very age testimony to how very long ago the 16th Street Baptist Church was bombed. As testimony began yesterday in the trial of a former Ku Klux Klansman, Thomas Blanton Jr., the only figures who didn't bear the weight of the intervening 37 1/2 years were its four victims - an 11-year-old and three 14-year-old girls - who remain as locked in time as the clock at the dry cleaners across the street that was stopped at 10:25 a.m. on Sept.
NEWS
By LOS ANGELES TIMES | April 15, 2001
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Some of the evidence lay buried in FBI wiretaps ordered sealed by former Director J. Edgar Hoover. Other evidence against two former Ku Klux Klansmen, prosecutors say, remained behind the sealed lips of relatives too scared to talk. But more than 37 years after four black girls were killed in a dynamite bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, those seals have been broken. And a team of state and federal attorneys is poised to shed light on one of the darkest chapters in U.S. civil rights history.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Ray Jenkins and Ray Jenkins,Special to the Sun | March 11, 2001
"Carry Me Home," by Diane McWhorter. Simon and Schuster. 701 pages. $35. Within the next month or so, two spent old Ku Klux Klansmen will go on trial for the most monstrous act of violence committed during the civil rights revolution, the 1963 bombing that killed four children in a Birmingham, Ala., church. Most likely, the trial will receive only cursory news coverage and defensive Birmingham residents already are dismissing the whole affair as something "unfortunate" that happened in the distant past, of little relevance to a dynamic industrial city in the New South.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tricia Bishop | March 8, 2001
A novel that includes civil rights history The North Carroll Branch Library in Greenmount holds a book-discussion group for kids 9 to 12 on the second Monday of each month. This month's featured book is "The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963" by Christopher Paul Curtis. The 1995 book, which won both a Newbery Honor Award and a Coretta Scott King Honor Award, is told through the fourth-grade voice of Kenny Watson, whose older brother, Byron, is causing all sorts of trouble for their family.
NEWS
May 19, 2000
IF IGNORANCE and evil hadn't intervened, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins and Cynthia Wesley would be women in their late 40s or early 50s. This week in Birmingham, two men were indicted for the infamous church bombing that took their lives 37 years ago. One man was tried and convicted in the case earlier; he died in prison in 1985. The 1963 explosion at Birminham's 16th Street Baptist Church became an international symbol of the viciousness of opposition to the civil rights movement.
NEWS
By Jean Marbella and Jean Marbella,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | May 19, 2000
NEWARK, N. J. - The crime was old, the witnesses even older. More than 30 years after a bomb exploded in a Birmingham, Ala., church and killed four girls, memories had faded and the demand for justice competed against a reluctance to reopen old wounds. And yet, the passage of the years proved to be friend as much as foe. "The time was right," said Joseph R. Lewis, who as head of the Birmingham's FBI office oversaw a renewed investigation of the 1963 bombing that led to two former Ku Klux Klansmen being indicted for murder Wednesday in the deaths of the girls.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | May 18, 2000
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Nearly 37 years after a bombing that horrified the nation, authorities here charged two longtime suspects with murder yesterday in the deaths of four black girls in the explosion at Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church. Thomas E. Blanton Jr. and Bobby Frank Cherry, both of whom were affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan and have been considered suspects for decades in the 1963 bombing, turned themselves in yesterday morning after being indicted by a state grand jury Tuesday.
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